11: Vulnerability, Shame, Fear, Love, and Family

In this episode John and Gregg riff on some ideas John found reading Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly (highly recommended by John).  For more exposure to Brown’s work, listen to her interview with Krista Tippet.

John talks about experiencing shame as a major motivator in Christian circles and so wonders if books like Not A Fan trigger him because they have an undercurrent of shame. Gregg draws together understandings about dysfunctional families with Primo Levi’s view that evil exists in a network of accompanying factors. In the same way, Gregg wonders if the presence of shame in churches is often accompanied by fear, silence, and control?

Further, where John talks about churches being cultures of conformity, Gregg suggests that dialogue with outsiders is a skill and speculates that churches typically lack mentors to pass this skill on to other Christians.

Looking closer at Daring Greatly the conversation turns to vulnerability and its relationship to love, specifically to self-love.  Gregg argues that, for Christians, self-love comes out the experience of becoming my “best self” as I pursue / am pursued by God in a relationship where I am truly known and deeply loved.

Gregg closes by contrasting his experience of love at L’Abri with his experience of “love” in a context of childhood abuse.  He also expounds his belief that love and truth are co-central to who we are and how we are meant to relate to our world and God.

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